Wellington archbishop made a cardinal
A New Zealand archbishop has been named among 20 new cardinals appointed by Pope Francis.
The archbishop of Wellington, John Atcherley Dew, 66, is among several appointments seen to reflect the Roman Catholic Church’s changing demographics and efforts to recognise increasingly key areas of support outside its traditional European stronghold.
Of the new cardinals, 15 are considered “princes of the church” and under the age of 80, reports AFP.
This means they are eligible to join the conclave which will elect the pope’s successor.
The list of newly named cardinals includes five from Asia and the Pacific, three from Africa, and five from Latin America.
Bishop Soane Patita Paini Mafi of Tonga has become the first cardinal from the Polynesian archipelago.
He is also the youngest at 53.
No American or Canadian cardinals were selected, and the pope named only one cardinal from within the Curia, the Vatican’s administrative body undergoing reform – Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, a Frenchman.
The new members of the College of Cardinals will be officially installed on February 14, bringing the total to 228 members, including 125 who can vote in conclaves.